Showcasing Higher Ed

“John Wesley was a campus minister.”

That’s the slogan on the buttons they’re handing out tonight at a confab at General Conference in Tampa highlighting United Methodist-affiliated educational institutions, campus ministries, and related programs.  

“The goal was the showcase the breadth and depth of the connection, and to have a fun and lighthearted experience,” said Melanie Overton, assistant general secretary for the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry’s Division of Higher Education.  “We wanted to convey the significance of the work our educational connection does.”  

Attendees were treated to a performance by the Wiley College Choir — Wiley is the historically-black United Methodist affiliated college in Marshall, Texas, that inspired the 2007 film, The Great Debaters.  A mariachi band from the Lydia Patterson Institute, a UM-affiliated, predominantly Hispanic college preparatory school based in El Paso, Texas, provided another lively performance.

Posted around the reception were giant posters telling individual stories of students and others who have benefited from that connection, as well as tallies of the numbers of United Methodist domestic collegiate ministries (493); United Methodist affiliated schools, colleges and universities (119); theological education schools (61), and International Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges, and Universities (IAMSCU) institutions (687). The idea was to give attendees “a sense of how lives are being shaped and how trajectories are being changed for people who are part of these institutions,” said Ms. Overton.

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The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
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